Search for dynamism

The central committee meeting of the CPN-Maoist, which concluded on Tuesday (Dec.16), has on the one hand sought to draw more clearly a tactical line of the party as the constitution-drafting process moves ahead and to try to inject a new dose of dynamism into both the CPN-M and the Maoist-led government. This was at a time when many party leaders and cadres were feeling that the government had performed well below their expectations during its more than three months in power. The CC decisions should also be viewed against the background of the party’s recent sixth national cadres’ meeting held in Bhaktapur, as it had, among other things, adopted the party chairman Prachanda’s political document with the stricture to the CC to synthesise the separate tactical lines mooted by Prachanda and politiburo member Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran’ by incorporating important points contained in the latter’s political document. The CC has adopted the tactical line passed by the national meeting — People’s Federal Democratic National Republic’ — an intimidating coinage because of its length.

This line is expected to last till the new constitution is promulgated. However, it is the Constituent Assembly that will decide what Nepal should be called. Some people may have felt uneasy about the slogan, and somewhat sceptical as well. But it has served the Maoist purpose well. First, it has succeeded in synthesising Prachanda’s ‘Democratic Republic’ and Kiran’s ‘People’s Republic’ as a compromise formula to reconcile the party’s internal differences. Secondly, it has robbed the CPN-M’s rivals of the opportunity to beat it over suspected motives behind the idea of ‘People’s Republic’. Moreover, on the face of it, none of the five words in the new slogan will lend itself to criticism. The CC also decided to form a ‘broader alliance of nationalists and republicans’, creating some ripples in the political circles. However, unless its contours become clear, it will be hard to either support or criticise this decision. An idea had also been mooted recently of forming a ‘broader democratic alliance’. The same yardstick applies to it, too.

The CC has also adopted, in the main, the ‘one-man, one-post’ policy, under which those holding ministerial portfolios have been relieved of their responsibilities of party organisation. This policy seeks to distribute the present responsibilities over a greater number of people, which might help reduce dissatisfaction within the party and, at least theoretically, help ministers concentrate on their governmental tasks. Whether this step will be able to bring about a significant improvement on the performance of the Maoist ministers remains to be seen, but the party appears concerned about this aspect, as the CC has directed them to act ‘decisively and effectively’ to enable the people to feel change. Linked in part to this concern is the CC’s decision to mount an awareness campaign in all the districts after a month. This seems, among other things, designed to counteract the risk of the party becoming stagnant, and to give the impression that both the party and the government it heads are dynamic and result-oriented. How far this strategy will work is quite another matter.